Definitions

from The American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, 4th Edition

  • n. A fine-grained, firm earthy material that is plastic when wet and hardens when heated, consisting primarily of hydrated silicates of aluminum and widely used in making bricks, tiles, and pottery.
  • n. A hardening or nonhardening material having a consistency similar to clay and used for modeling.
  • n. Geology A sedimentary material with grains smaller than 0.002 millimeters in diameter.
  • n. Moist sticky earth; mud.
  • n. The human body as opposed to the spirit.

from Wiktionary, Creative Commons Attribution/Share-Alike License

  • n. A mineral substance made up of small crystals of silica and alumina, that is ductile when moist; the material of pre-fired ceramics.
  • n. An earth material with ductile qualities.
  • n. A tennis court surface.
  • n. The material of the human body.
  • n. A particle less than 3.9 microns in diameter, following the Wentworth scale
  • v. To add clay to, to spread clay onto.
  • v. To purify using clay.

from the GNU version of the Collaborative International Dictionary of English

  • n. A soft earth, which is plastic, or may be molded with the hands, consisting of hydrous silicate of aluminium. It is the result of the wearing down and decomposition, in part, of rocks containing aluminous minerals, as granite. Lime, magnesia, oxide of iron, and other ingredients, are often present as impurities.
  • n. Earth in general, as representing the elementary particles of the human body; hence, the human body as formed from such particles.
  • transitive v. To cover or manure with clay.
  • transitive v. To clarify by filtering through clay, as sugar.

from The Century Dictionary and Cyclopedia

  • n. The material resulting from the decomposition and consequent hydration of the feldspathic rocks, especially granite and gneiss, and of the crystalline rocks in general.
  • n. Earth in general, especially in the Scriptures, as the material from which, according to the account in Genesis, the body of the first man was formed.
  • n. . Moist earth; mud; slime.
  • n. . Any viscous plastic mixture used as mortar or cement.
  • n. The human body; especially, a dead body.
  • n. Figuratively, anything which is easily molded, shaped, or influenced.
  • Formed or consisting of clay; characterized by the presence of clay; clayey: as, a clay soil; a clay hovel.
  • To cover or manure with clay.
  • To purify and whiten with clay, as sugar.
  • To puddle with clay.

from WordNet 3.0 Copyright 2006 by Princeton University. All rights reserved.

  • n. water soaked soil; soft wet earth
  • n. a very fine-grained soil that is plastic when moist but hard when fired
  • n. the dead body of a human being
  • n. United States politician responsible for the Missouri Compromise between free and slave states (1777-1852)
  • n. United States general who commanded United States forces in Europe from 1945 to 1949 and who oversaw the Berlin airlift (1897-1978)

Etymologies

Middle English clei, from Old English clæg.
(American Heritage® Dictionary of the English Language, Fourth Edition)
From Middle English clay, cley, from Old English clǣġ ("clay"), from Proto-Germanic *klajjaz (“clay”), from Proto-Indo-European *glei- (“to glue, paste, stick together”). Cognate with Dutch klei ("clay"), Low German klei ("clay"), German Klei, Danish klæg ("clay"); compare Ancient Greek γλία (glía), Latin glūs ("glue"). Related also to clag, clog. (Wiktionary)

Examples

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Comments

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  • "9. To purify and whiten with clay, as sugar."

    --Century Dictionary

    March 11, 2011


  • Lo, I have wrought in common clay
    Rude figures of a rough-hewn race,
    Since pearls strew not the market-place
    In this my town of banishment,
    Where with the shifting dust I play,
    And eat the bread of discontent.

    - Rudyard Kipling, 'A Dedication.'

    October 27, 2008

  • Ashes to ashes, clay to clay (it's wet here, you dig?).

    June 20, 2008

  • Why, thank you, Pro. :-)

    Weirdnet, second-to-last definition: What??

    June 20, 2008

  • Two different colors (for reesetee's list).

    June 20, 2008

  • Is defined by the Udden-Wentworth scale as having a particle size of less than 3.90625 micrometres(0.00015 inches) but more than 1 micrometre.

    February 26, 2007